MCLA Men Fall in League Semi-Finals

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WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Worcester State University men's basketball team is off to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship game after defeating MCLA, 96-72, Thursday night in the conference semifinals at John P. Brissette Court.
 
With the win, Worcester State moves to 15-11 overall on the season, and will face Westfield State in the MASCAC Championship on Saturday afternoon.
 
Worcester State jumped out to a quick start in the first half and never looked back. The Lancers hit three-pointers on each of its first three possessions of the contest to take a 9-0 lead just 1:28 in. Sophomore Corey Olivier hit the first two, followed by the first of five triples of the evening by freshman Sam Dion.
 
The Lancers never looked back in the opening half, leading by as many as 24 points before the break after a Tyler Dion 3-pointer put Worcester State up 51-27 with 5:02 to play. MCLA closed the first half on a 10-2 run, but the Lancers still held a 53-37 edge headed to the locker room.
 
The hosts made a remarkable 10 three-pointers before the half, shooting 62.5 percent from distance. Worcester shot 20-for-38 (52.6 percent) from the floor in the half.
 
Taconic grad Quentin Gittens was MCLA's leading scorer with 17 points, while Antoine Montgomery dropped 13.
 
The Trailblazers end the season at 15-11.  
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CARES Act Offers Help for Investors, Small Businesses

Submitted by Edward Jones

As we go through the coronavirus crisis, we are all, first and foremost, concerned about the health of our loved ones and communities. But the economic implications of the virus have also weighed heavily on our minds. 

However, if you're an investor or a business owner, you just got some help from Washington – and it could make a big difference, at least in the short term, for your financial future. Specifically, the passage of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act offers, among other provisions, the following:

* Expanded unemployment benefits: The CARES Act provides $250 billion for extended unemployment insurance, expands eligibility and provides workers with an additional $600 per week for four months, in addition to what state programs pay. The package will also cover the self-employed, independent contractors and "gig economy" workers. Obviously, if your employment has been affected, these benefits can be a lifeline. Furthermore, the benefits could help you avoid liquidating some long-term investments you’ve earmarked for retirement just to meet your daily cash flow needs.

* Direct payments: Individuals will receive a one-time payment of up to $1,200; this amount is reduced for incomes over $75,000 and eliminated altogether at $99,000. Joint filers will receive up to $2,400, which will be reduced for incomes over $150,000 and eliminated at $198,000 for joint filers with no children. Plus, taxpayers with children will receive an extra $500 for each dependent child under the age of 17. If you don't need this money for an immediate need, you might consider putting it into a low-risk, liquid account as part of an emergency fund.

* No penalty on early withdrawals: Typically, you would have to pay a 10 percent penalty on early withdrawals from IRAs, 401(k)s and similar retirement accounts. Under the CARES Act, this penalty will be waived for individuals who qualify for COVID-19 relief and/or in plans that allow COVID-19 distributions. Withdrawals will still be taxable, but the taxes can be spread out over three years. Still, you might want to avoid taking early withdrawals, as you’ll want to keep your retirement accounts intact as long as possible.

* Suspension of required withdrawals: Once you turn 72, you will be required to take withdrawals from your traditional IRA and 401(k). The CARES Act waives these required minimum distributions for 2020. If you're in this age group, but you don't need the money, you can let your retirement accounts continue growing on a tax-deferred basis.

* Increase of retirement plan loan limit: Retirement plan investors who qualify for COVID-19 relief can now borrow up to $100,000 from their accounts, up from $50,000, provided their plan allows loans. We recommend that you explore other options, such as the direct payments, to bridge the gap on current expenses and if you choose to take a plan loan work with your financial adviser to develop strategies to pay back these funds over time to reduce any long-term impact to your retirement goals.

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